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by Abigail Van Buren

Advice Column Addict Seeks Advice to Cure Her Addiction

DEAR ABBY: I live in Dubai and started reading advice columns around 10 years ago. I find them fascinating as they give me insight into the lives of people who live in different cultures and have very different ways of thinking. I have learned a great deal from these columns and am often impressed with not just the advice, but also the language used in asking and answering.

Because I enjoy them so much, I spend a lot of time every day reading. Some days I pore through the archives, and before I know it, it's time to go home from work.

When I don't have much work to do in the office, it's easy. But lately I have been procrastinating and only finishing tasks just before they are due. I'm fortunate that I work quickly and my work has not been affected negatively yet, but still, this doesn't seem right.

Could you please help me overcome this obsession? Thank you. -- ADDICTED IN DUBAI

DEAR ADDICTED: I agree there is a lot to be learned by reading about the problems and solutions that others have. However, you have gone overboard and need to step on the brakes. Some addicts can manage their addiction by rationing their exposure, while others need to quit cold turkey.

Many companies and employers periodically review what their employees do on their computers during work hours, and people have been fired when employers realize they are devoting little time and energy to the tasks at hand. If you want to spend evenings and weekends entertaining yourself by reading advice columns, no one can argue with it. But from where I sit, you are being unfair to your boss, and indulging in your addiction during work hours could cost you your job.

Read more in: Work & School | Addiction